Student elections at Sheffield University

Small Things

Last week, the area around the Students Union at Sheffield University became littered once more with banners and posters, indicating that student elections were about to take place. It reminded me of something from my past. Something very small, but which changed my life. Something I had long forgotten, but am eternally grateful for.
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Empty Space playlist episode 0001

This is the return of the Empty Space art radio show after a hiatus of seven-and-a-half years. To commemorate this dawning of a new era, this show is numbered 0001.

The DJ is a robot.

The show is available to play and download, for a short time, on Soundcloud, and for a long time, on Mixcloud.

The playlist is below.

  1. Eccentronic Research Council – Mind Yore Language, from the album Magpie Billy & The Egg that Yolked(A Study of the Northern Ape in Love)
  2. Alan WattsPure Sound (soundclip from Alan Watts website)
  3. Spike Jones and his City Slickers – Pimples and Braces, from the album Go Crazy with Spike Jones
  4. Baba Naga – Osku Til Osku, from the EP Baba Naga
  5. Air – The Ragtime Dance, from the album Air Lore
  6. Zali Krishnaepisode 1 of our weekly serial, Near Andromeda
  7. Hans Albers – Das Herz von St. Pauli, from the album Das Herz von St. Pauli
  8. Klaus Johann Grobe – Koordinaten, from the album Klaus Johann Grobe
  9. Spratleys Japs Vine, from the album Pony
  10. Jerry Goodman & Jan Hammer – Full Moon Boogie, from the album Like Children
  11. Matthew Clegg, stood by the canal at Mexborough, reads his poem The Sinkhole, from his collection The Navigators
  12. Champion Kickboxer – Thinking, from their album Perforations
  13. Screaming Maldini – Last Day Of The Miner’s Strike (Pulp cover), from the compilation album Which Side Are You On, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike
  14. Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere – When Thin Clouds Scud Across A Bright Moon, from the album Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere
  15. William D Drake – Liferaft, from the album Revere Reach
  16. Toucans – I don’t believe in that, from the album Toucans
  17. Raymond Scott and Dorothy Collins – Tiger Rag, from the album At Home with Dorothy and Raymond
Olivetti VoiceMail Workshop Certificate - Dan Sumption has attended

I don’t do Voicemail

I have never liked voicemail.

I’m not keen on phones in general (there is a great Medium post, Why I don’t answer most phone calls, which explains why the telephone is my least-preferred means of communication).

But voicemail, ick. Unlike phone calls, voicemail has no redeeming features.

Here are the reasons why voicemail is evil and needs to be burned with fire:
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Sheffugees hackathon

Sheffugees

This weekend I attended a “Sheffield refugee hackathon” organised by the folks at Yoomee. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, having never been to a hackathon before, and being unsure how well the fairly specific set of application-development skills I’ve been using over the last few years would generalise to building something that could be of benefit to refugees and asylum-seekers, but it was a great experience and I’m really looking forward to the next one (which should be happening in around 6 weeks time).
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Your Detox-debunking article is Bullshit

It’s that time of year when a lot of folks’ thoughts turn to detoxing. It’s also the time when a lot of other folks’ thoughts turn to rubbishing the idea that detoxing could ever be anything beneficial. As a some-time scientist, logical positivist, gleeful-debunker and proud skeptic, you might hazard a guess at where I stand on this. No. I’m firmly on the side of the detoxers.

My anti-anti-detox-bullshit detectors went into overload yesterday when I saw a friend share a Cosmopolitan (I know, I know, fish: barrel) article entitled Why Your Detox Is Bullsh*t. I’ll happily admit I didn’t read the article – life’s too fucking short. My immediate response to the headline was:
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Start Drawing Cocks

I’ve just spent the weekend with poets. At 4am Friday night/Saturday morning, I was challenged to recite a poem I had written. But I could only remember scrappy two-line nonsense verses that I’d dreamed up back in the 20th century.

Saturday night, again, everyone recited poems. And I remembered that I do have a poem, a poem that I’m proud of.

One year ago, Leki died. One year ago, I wrote this poem, and performed it at his wake. And so here – with apologies to WH Auden (but not many of them) – it is.

Start Drawing Cocks
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Learning Software Development with Microsoft Office

I was recently listening to a JavaScript Jabber podcast featuring Dan Abramov, where he stated that he got into software development because at school he was taught PowerPoint: he loved making animations, and one day discovered the macros that powered those animations. These macros were actually scripts: by changing values within them, Dan could programatically alter the animations.

This reminded me of my own route into the software industry: though WordBASIC (most of you under 40 probably won’t remember WordBASIC: it’s what Word macros were written in before we had Visual Basic for Applications).
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